In today's American schools, many teachers are faced with the problem of keeping African-American students engaged in the lessons taught in pre-K-12 classrooms, a problem which at times leads to low academic performance. According to data presented in the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 48% and 66% of African-American students scored below the basic competency level in reading and mathematics respectively. With many African-American students being labelled "not proficient" in some academic content areas, a growing achievement gap exists between African-American and European-American students. This gap contributes to fewer African-Americans 1) gaining access to institutions of higher education; 2) taking longer to complete their degree courses; and 3) having access to employment opportunities. In view of the fact that some African-American students obtain low test scores in pre-K-12 education, and the continuing decline of African-Americans being admitted into institutions of higher learning, two basic questions emerge: 1) What type of teaching instruction can provide students with a more holistic learning experience in pre-K-12 as well as in institutions of higher learning, and, 2) What role can institutions of higher education play in improving the teaching and learning of all students?


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